4 Foods that May Fight Belly Fat
Credit: Maska82 | Dreamstime

Every time I go online, I'm met with the same ads. One asks if I'm "tired of my muffin top," another tells me that there's a "secret to blasting away belly fat," and a third, well, that one is about my fine lines. I'm not really sure what these ads are trying to tell me, but I'm sure I don't like it!

Still, I know there's a reason for these ads, and it's not because these advertisers know me personally and are trying to give me subtle hints. It's because such a large portion of our country is obese that targeting these kinds of ads to women of a certain age group just seems to make sense. Sigh.

Well, I'm not usually one to believe the hype, so I wouldn't recommend clicking on ads that promise the impossible. Instead, let's look at the facts. Some foods really are better at blasting belly fat than others. There is scientific evidence for this, at least in some studies. And you don't have to buy a subscription or an eBook to find out which ones they are. You simply have to read a little further.

Dark Chocolate – You might be surprised to find out that chocolate can help you lose weight, but this is chocolate that's closer to its pure form than you're probably used to.  A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who ate dark chocolate experienced higher insulin sensitivity and lower insulin resistance compared with those who ate equal quantities of white chocolate.

Tart Cherries – A 2007 University of Michigan study found that rats that were fed small quantities of tart cherry powder lost 17 percent of their belly fat in as few as three months.

Vinegar – People who consumed an acetic acid compound found in vinegar along with fatty food developed less body fat than those who didn't consume the acetic compound, according to a 2009 study in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.

Green Tea – Green tea is rich in phyotchemicals and antioxidants that make this drink a top choice for many health enthusiasts. But it may also aid in weight loss, putting it at the top of the list for just about everyone else. In fact, a 2009 Journal of Nutrition study found that the catechins in green tea may speed up the body's metabolic rate and promote fat loss, especially in the abdomen.

Healthy Bites appears on MyHealthNewsDaily on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!